Purpose of this Blog...

You may have noticed that not all books are equal in capturing children's imaginations and in cultivating those innocent, tender souls. My goal is to help you find the ones that do!
(Painting by Mary Cassatt: "Mrs Cassatt Reading to her Grandchildren" -1888)

Sunday, March 17, 2013

An Extra Dose of Humililty from the New Pope Elicits Hope, and Softens the Hearts of Journalists

[Credit to Catholic Memes on Facebook]
Today, while sipping my last cup of french-pressed coffee with cream (tomorrow is the first day of Orthodox Lent), I was perusing the Sunday paper - which isn't always a pleasant experience (the news, not the coffee!) - when an article on the next-to-last page of the News Section caught my eye: "The Pope's Blessing for the Press".  Really??  Yup!

Pope Francis met with journalists who have been covering his selection at the Vatican, where he not only discussed the choice of his papal name but also gave them an exhortation and blessing. 

His undeniable humility elicited applause (and even some tears) from reporters as he blessed them and assured them that "the church, for her part, is very attentive to your precious work"... 

The Exhortation
Here's the exhortation (which made me jump up and down with joy, as a writer and reader who recommends "good" books for young souls) :

"Like many other professions, your job requires study, sensitivity, and experience.  But it bears with it a particular attention to truth, goodness and beauty.  This makes us particularly close because the church exists to communicate truth, goodness and beauty 'in person.'  It should be clear that we are all called, not to communicate ourselves, but rather...truth, goodness, and beauty."

Papal Name
So how did Archbishop Jorge Mario Bergoglio come to choose the name "Francis"?  He said that at the election, his dear friend Cardinal Claudio Hummes, who was next to him, hugged him when the votes reached the two-thirds, saying "Do not forget the poor."  

"And that word stuck here - the poor, the poor.  Then immediately in relation to the poor, I thought of Francis of Assisi...for me he is the man of poverty, the man of peace, the man who loves and safeguards creation.  Oh how I wish for a church that is poor and for the poor!"
Painting by Marilyn Moyes

The Blessing
The article stated that even though the Pope, "Papa Francesco" didn't say the traditional Latin blessing and make the sign of the cross over the journalists, "he had, indeed, blessed us."

"From my heart I impart this blessing, in silence, to each of you, respecting the conscience of each one, but knowing that each of you is a child of God: May God bless you." 

Cathleen Falsani, the journalist who wrote the article, ended by saying, "There were tears in the eyes of some hard-headed (yet grudgingly tender-hearted) journalists in the room.  And I'm not ashamed to admit I was one of them."

Did you, by chance, happen to exhale a sigh like I did at her soft-hearted closing words??  What a lovely article - I wish there were more like it in our daily media! 
[read the whole article by Cathleen Falsani, from the Orange County Register, here]

Picture Books about St. Francis of Assisi:

1 comment:

  1. I love that meme photo! lol! I think that Pope Francis is a really intriguing choice-- and hopefully just the one that the Catholic church needs. His humbleness and humility have definitely gotten everyone's attention, and everything I've heard quoted from him seems really refreshing! This sounds like a great article, and one that is nice to see in this world of nitpicking and naysaying media...